Tuesday, July 25, 2017

WordPress Plugin: All-in-One SEO Pack (Torbert)

Today I installed this plugin at RicksLists.com

Installing the All-in-One SEO Pack

  • Log into the dashboard
  • Select Plugins -> add new
  • Search for All-in-One SEO Pack
    and confirm that it's from Torbert 
  • Click on Install
  • Click on Activate
  • Click on "Continue to the General Settings »"

After installing, and activating, this recommended SEO plugin, the first thing I noticed  was that the All-in-one SEO Pack (AIOSEO) bubbled to the top of the WordPress dashboard:

You should plan to spend an hour (or two) the first time you configure AIOSEO because you will probably want to read the information links as your go along.

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front)

Here is the minimum information you'll need before you begin.
  1. Home Title
    (Most search engines use a maximum of 57 chars for the home title.)
  2. Home Description
    (Most search engines use a maximum of 160 chars for the home description.)
  3. Webmaster Verification Codes
    1. Google
    2. Bing
    3. Pinterest 
  4. Google Plus Profile URL
  5. Google Analytics ID

Section 1: General Settings

There is a help button in the section Title Bar, and fortunately this will open in a new window. I scanned the help, and I chose to leave the default settings unchanged for the this section. For now.
  • Canonical URLs (Default=checked)
  • No Pagination for Canonical URLs (Default=unchecked)
  • Enable Custom Canonical URLs (Default=unchecked)
  • Use Original Title  (Default=[x]Disabled)
  • Use Schema.org Markup  (Default=checked)
  • Log important events (Default=unchecked)

Section 2: Home Page Settings

This is where it begins to get interesting! Here is meta-data to add to your site. When I was creating websites by hand I was always careful to include meta-data. Today, Google and other search engines don't use meta-data in ranking a website, but I've always believed it a good thing to include. There are three settings here, and the first two are self-explanatory:
  1. Home Title
  2. Home Description
  3. Use Static Front Page Instead

Section 3: Title Settings

This section looked a little intimidating, but it's really quite easy to use. Initially, only the first two options need to be looked at. The rest of this section allows you to drill down and really tweak your site.
I accepted all the default settings.
  1. Rewrite Titles (default="Y") 
  2. Capitalize Tag and Search Titles (default =Checked)

Section 4: Custom Post Type Settings

None of my websites are focused on blogging. That's a shame because that is the WordPress primary function. It's interesting that AIOSEO recognized plugins (Weaver and Contact Form 7) 
For now, I accepted the defaults:
  • SEO for Custom Post Types (default=enabled)
  • SEO on only these post types (default=unchecked)
    • Posts   (default=checked)
    • Pages  (default=checked)
    • Media   (default=unchecked)
    • Contact Forms  (default=unchecked)
    • Weaver Slider Post (default=unchecked)
  • Enable Advanced Options: (default=disabled)

Section 5: Display Settings

Show Column Labels for Custom Post Types:
  • Posts   (default=checked)
  • Pages  (default=checked)
  • Media   (default=unchecked)
  • Contact Forms  (default=unchecked)
  • Weaver Slider Post (default=unchecked)

Section 6: Webmaster Verification

Interesting! My experience is that Google wants you to insert a snippet of code in the head to verify that you own the site. I've not bothered with anything else. Here are the boxes:
  • Google Webmaster Tools
  • Bing Webmaster Center
  • Pinterest Site Verification

Section 7: Google Settings

IMHO, Google is the 800lb Gorilla in the room. Users should have a Google+ and/or a Google My Business page. This section integrates them.
  • Google Plus Default Profile
  • Disable Google Plus Profile (default=unchecked)
  • Display Sitelinks Search Box (default=unchecked)
  • Set Preferred Site Name (default=unchecked)
  • Advanced Authorship Options (default=Disabled)
  • Google Analytics ID

Section 8: Noindex Settings

Webmasters use an index.txt file to tell search bots how to scan their websites. I'm assuming this section will build that file. Again, I notice the emphasis on blogging:
  • Default to NOINDEX (Default= All unchecked)
  • Default to NOFOLLOW (Default= All unchecked)
  • Use noindex for Categories (Default=checked)
  • Use noindex for Date Archives (Default=checked)
  • Use noindex for Author Archives (Default=checked)
  • Use noindex for Tag Archives (Default=unchecked)
  • Use noindex for the Search page (Default=unchecked)
  • Use noindex for the 404 page (Default=unchecked)
  • Use noindex for paginated pages/posts (Default=unchecked)
  • Use nofollow for paginated pages/posts (Default=unchecked)

Section 9: Advanced Settings

Huh? All of the previous sections seem "advanced" in their own right. But the advanced settings section is completely blank and everything unchecked. In other words, "move along; nothing here."
  • Autogenerate Descriptions (Default=unchecked)
  • Remove Descriptions For Paginated Pages (Default=unchecked)
  • Never Shorten Long Descriptions (Default=unchecked)
  • Unprotect Post Meta Fields (Default=unchecked)
  • Redirect Attachments to Post Parent (Default=unchecked)
  • Exclude Pages (default=empty box field)
  • Additional Post Headers (default=empty box field)
  • Additional Page Headers (default=empty box field)
  • Additional Front Page Headers (default=empty box field)
  • Additional Blog Page Headers (default=empty box field)

Section 10: Keyword Settings

The only function for this section is to enable/disable keywords. It is disabled by default. I left it disabled. If this setting is enabled, three more check-boxes appear:
  • Use Categories for META keywords (default=unchecked)
  • Use Tags for META keywords (default=checked)
  • Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page/Archives (default=checked)


Configuring Torbert's All-in-One SEO pack is pretty straight forward. With a few bits of information you should be able to install and configure it in 10 minutes for installations after your first. YOu'll need the most time to find and gather your Webmaster and Google information.

PS: AIOSEO vs Yoast

Interesting. I just activated Yoast SEO. It imported my AIOSEO data, then Yoast offered to deactivate AIOSEO!?

Now I have more research: what conflicts will I create if I run both of these SEO plugins? Sigh. Does it ever end?

Reviews: Which is better, Yoast or AIOSEO?

WPBeginner:  Yoast ~ "Both Yoast SEO and All in One SEO has a lot of options. This makes the setup look a bit intimidating. Both plugins try their best to simplify things and make it easier for users to setup their SEO settings. We feel that Yoast SEO does a slightly better job than All in One SEO with their multi-page and tabbed settings."

EvolvingSEO: Yoast ~ But barely. It's a good read. "Does All In One do some extra stuff that Yoast doesn’t? Sure. But when it comes to the core of fundamentally great SEO, Yoast wins."

WinningWP: Yoast ~ "When it comes to picking a winner, it really is too close to call. Both are excellent plugins, and either choice will most likely serve you exceptionally well. Overall, though, Yoast SEO gets my vote — primarily because it ships with a considerably better range of features."

CreateAndCode: ~ Yoast "…but honestly, you only need one SEO plugin. If you’re a total beginner just looking to add some basic SEO to your WordPress site, you should still probably use Yoast because it’s the easiest to use."
However, the CreateAndCode reviewer also said: "And finally, if you’re willing to try out a relative newcomer, The SEO Framework offers a delightful interface and a promising feature list, though in a package that’s not quite as beginner friendly."

TorqueMag: Yoast ~ "Personally, I prefer Yoast SEO and use it on all my websites. The duel between the two leading WordPress SEO plugins is pretty close. Both are excellent solutions that will do an amazing job to improve your site’s search engine optimization."

TheMeisle: Yoast ~ "While Yoast remains our preferred pick for WordPress SEO, we were pleasantly surprised by All In One SEO Pack. It’s a robust tool that makes on-page SEO a walk in the park..."


Move All-in-one SEO to Yoast, according to Yoast instructions...

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